The Long County Blue Tide have a special person and athlete in senior Kyleigh Sizemore. She is an all-around, four-sport star for the Tide and has specifically shone brightly in flag football.
Sizemore was recently named a finalist for the 2023 Atlanta Falcons Trailblazer Award, which is awarded each year to a female athlete who leads the way in the world of flag football.
She was beyond excited for the opportunity to vie for this award.
“When I was told about this award, it caught me totally off guard,” Sizemore said. “I am extremely honored to be selected. It is unreal to be a Trailblazer finalist.”
Head flag football coach Paul Austin was also enthused to have Sizemore named as a finalist and has known from the first time he saw her pick up a football that she was special.
“I’m so extremely excited that one of my girls was selected for this amazing award,” Austin said. ”From our first practice her sophomore year, I knew Kyleigh had a God-given gift…(she) is truly deserving of this award.”
Through two seasons as quarterback of the Lady Tide flag football team, Sizemore has been top five in the state for passing yards and touchdowns. She has led the team to a 22-7 record, two runner-up finishes in the area and two quarterfinals appearances in the state playoffs.
She hopes that her influence in the sport of flag football will encourage young girls across the state to play.
“If I could encourage anyone, I would encourage young girls from all sports to play flag,” Sizemore said. “I was fortunate enough to have teammates from all other sports with me as I started this journey. We have created a bond like no other. This wouldn’t be possible if I didn’t have all my girls’ support. As for my success, all of that credit goes to my team. This sport takes all of us working together to reach the same goal.”
As part of her being named a finalist, Sizemore will have the opportunity to lead the Atlanta Falcons out of the team tunnel and onto the field at their October 8 game against the Houston Texans.
She’s excited about this chance, but also nervous about embarrassing herself in front of professional athletes.
“I am extremely nervous about leading the team out. I’m terrified that I might fall or trip in front of all of them,” she said. “Overall I am super excited to be given the opportunity to go back. I wish I could take my entire team with me.”
This won’t be the first time Sizemore has been around an NFL team. Earlier this summer, she participated in a flag football skills showcase with the Jacksonville Jaguars and last season, she participated in a flag football all star game at halftime of a Falcons game.
The 2023 Lady Tide flag football season kicks off Thursday, Oct. 12 in a scrimmage against Richmond Hill.